Thanks to the generosity of Area 6 Handbell Musicians of America, Norwood Elementary School in Knoxville, Tennessee had the opportunity to be a family of musicians during the 2014-15 school year.
Our handchime choir was open to any student in third, fourth, or fifth grade. As a community school, we offer many varied opportunities for our students. These opportunities are offered after school during Boys and Girls Club. Norwood has a transient population. Students often move between several local schools during a school year. Knowing that this might impact the cohesiveness of the group, I offered handchimes during both semesters, each with a final concert. This allowed many more students the opportunity to learn, play, and perform. Our first semester ended with a taped show featuring holiday songs, shared during the morning announcements in December. The second concert, a live performance played while the audience was being seated before our graduation ceremony in May, was a high note of our hard work.
We had some low notes as well. In November, we lost one of our fifth grade students, a member of our Norwood family. Our handchime choir dedicated our final performance to the memory of our friend Steven.
Please accept my thanks and appreciation for the loan of the chimes. Through your generous gift, my students learned more than how to play, they learned the beauty of playing.
Dana Parker, Teacher
Norwood Elementary School